A security guard stands at the venue of NASSCOM India Leadership Forum in Mumbai, India February 16, 2017Reuters

Refuting reports of mass layoffs that have recently hit the Indian IT sector, industry association Nasscom has revealed that the companies are still hiring and have added about 1.7 lakh jobs in the 2016-17 period. Additionally, the body also said that the IT giants can be expected to hire about 1.5 lakh employees this year.

"We categorically reject the reports of mass layoffs in the sector. FY2017 saw 1.7 lakh people being added, while in Q4 alone, the gross hiring was of over 50,000 by top five companies," Press Trust of India quoted Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar as saying.

He also explained that Nasscom had spoken to its members who assured the body that there would be no unemployment woes to deal with that that the sector will still hire people this year.

While Nasscom seems to have quelled the fears of numerous people who were likely to be affected by the rumoured sackings, it did say that the best way to retain their jobs would be to "re-skill." The body also explained how the world was moving towards automation and digital services and employees will have to "re-skill or perish."

Backing the IT sector's stand that the sackings, which they say was much lesser in number, were based on the annual performance appraisal, Chandrashekhar added: "Performance-linked workforce realignment impacts about 0.5-3 percent of the talent pool and there is no change this year. It is something every company does to stay competitive and have the right skill sets."

Nasscom chairman Raman Roy also stressed the importance of re-skilling, especially at the time when the industry is embracing new technologies for cost optimisation and better efficiency.

"The need for re-skilling talent is a reality that we have to address. To keep up in a fast-evolving technology environment, the IT industry must reinvent itself by re-skilling its employees in new and upcoming technologies," he added.

Cognizant is fairly aggressive in its acquisition strategy as it plans to strengthen various domains.WikiMedia Commons

Meanwhile, IT giant Cognizant, which was said to be laying off 6,000 employees in India to hire workers in the United States, has now said that it is not sacking employees. Instead, it revealed that it would re-skill 1,00,000 employees in FY2018 so that they can be in tune with new technologies and automation.

"We are talking about 3-D printing happening in manufacturing, in financial services people are talking about blockchain, media and entertainment industry people are talking about virtual reality, augmented reality, so on and so forth. All these are enabled by the technology," Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, senior vice-president of Corporate Marketing at Cognizant, told Moneycontrol.

"So if somebody were to get employed by the market today the opportunities and the options that are available to the individual today, the canvas is much wider more enriching."